Saturday, September 30, 2006

WIP? What, me?!!

Yes, ladies and gents, i actually have some WIPs for ya. Well, it's not like I don't have unfinished stuff lying around 365 days of the year (lists of stuff to make are considered WIPs in my book too, BTW), but I actually feel like sharing this time. Wow. Yeah, I know. Anyway - here is.

I got this XMassy-sort-of fabric for $2/yd at Walmart last week and it's going to turn into pj pants for me. Strangely enough, it says on the salvedge that the fabric is not meant for children's pjs. Hmm... is it good for adult pjs, though? And what does it mean anyway?

He is a racoon in progress. I think his name is Sam, but I'm not sure. He's similar to a one Peter I can't show you for a while, but I'd ok. He was in my head for a while. He's going to have a scarf when he's done too. I think I might be slightly obsessed with characters wearing scarves... (...And I just had a time-travel-like experience going through my blog trying to find more documented examples.I'm such a nostalgic twat...). The animal guide is one of many I lovingly own, being used for some portfolio work inspiration. And thecrafting fun things, don't forget to register for the Happily Handmade Giveaway! Won't it be nice to win some fun free stuff?

And what would you weekend be like without this stunning little brat, ah? (This cat can't take a bad photo)

Have a good weekend, everyone, and if you're fasting tomorrow - Gmar Hatima Tova and Tzom Kal!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Knitting Anniversary

I don't know exactly when I started knitting for real, but it was roughly a year ago. I was taught how to knit (only the knit stitch) many years back, by my knitter/seamstress grandmother and failed miserably. To this day, I don't know if that was due to the fact that my dear grandma is left handed (and I'm very very not) or that I was using scraps of yarn that didn't match the needle size. The young OCD me might have been frustrated by the non-matching stitches and gave up. Until last year.
Sometime around this time last year, on a grey day like this one, I was at work at the CalArts' student affairs office (I built most of this for them) ans chatting with a sewing collegue. I was saying how I'm pissed that I can't find the scarf I want. She said she always wanted to learn how to knit. The lightbalb went on in my head. The moment I got out of there I went to Michael's to pick up a knitting booklet, needles and yarn. The rest is history.

So now that you know about my knitting history, here are 10 things (in the spirit of Claudia and other good gals) you didn't know about my knitting. Well, you may know some of it. I have a very short history to dig into, you know:

1. Finiky a knitter as I am, my first project (above) was almost knit in fun fur. Yep, I actually bought the damn thing, but luckily came to my senses and returned it. Phew.
2. I'm currently running the largest number of UFOs ever - three. That's Pomat-emo, the Mata Haris and the big pile of teal that I won't mention by name lest I jinx its progress. Other than that, I'm usually a very monogamous knitter.
3. As scared as I am of sweaters, I recently bought two Rowan classic books and got a free copy of IK Fall 2006... for the sweater patterns. I like living on the edge.
4. When I started knitting, I used to buy those huge 14" Boye aluminum needles. They were cheap AND I used to do this rookie thing when you the neeldes on your thighs to help push them through. Yep. I still own them, but only because I'm still broke.
5. I still make ladders in stockinette socks both on DPNs and two circulars. I need to knit very carefully.
6. I can't, just can't deal with heels with flaps. The only reason I'm not giving up on them yet is because some patterns utilize them so darn well. But if I can get away with not knitting them - you bet I will.
7. I can kitchener the heck out of everything. Yes I can. All thanks to this video tutorial (bottom, in the "finishing" section). So logical!
8. I never learn that lack of sleep and knitting don't go well together. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I had to scrap whole projects because of "one tiny little mistake" made under the influence of lack of Zs. At the same time, I've been known to be a "just one more row/until the end of the pattern repeat" knitter, which often was a culprit in the above.
9. I'm still afraid of my jaywalkers. I don't know why. I will finis them, I promise... (Sometime before I die. You can count on it)
10. Unless I come across an amazing deal, I hardly ever knit a pattern in the exact yarn it was designed with. Both because I have a rich taste and a poor pocket, but also because I'm very specific about the feel of certain yarns against my (super sensitive) skin, the color and price (I just don't believe it's always worth it). I usually look for a cheaper substitute and often buy it online. Mainly on ebay.

(Blogger went "Hic!". If you saw this posted three times, that's why)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Help, anyone?

Hello dears. I was ill for a week with a nasty post cold sinus infection. Now I'm much better and I've had a lovely and delicious weekend. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow, promise. For now, though, I've got a question/offer/plea/invitation:
Remember this book (at the bottom of the page, the skirts book)? Well, it's in Japanese. Although the illustrations are pretty clear even for a beginner like me, I'm pretty sure the text has a bunch of information I need to know. Like what fabrics to use, tips, needed notions that would make my life easier - you know. Question is - could you help by translating this vital information to this non-Japanese speaker? I'd reward you with goods, make something for you (a skirt?), swap? I think it's a total of 30-40 pages (I didn't count), but there's little text, frankly. Each "how to make" page has a short paragraph at the top saying what you'd need to make the specific pattern + scattered instructions here and there. It honestly doesn't look like a lot.
If you'd like to help, please email me at mwright at michalwright dot com. If you know anyone who'd be interested in helping, please tell them I'm very kind when rewarding nice people. Really.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


POO! I knew I couldn't enjoy that free goodness forever...


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dear Jewish Santa!

Hi Jewish Santa!
How are you? I'll let the skeptics and the adults debate if you exist or not, I believe in you (and in the Passover bunny too). I know there's somebody out there who's looking after all of us Jewish kids. Why should we be good children if we won't get presents once a year?
Since Rosh Hashana (=Jewish new year) is coming up, and since I've been a very good girl, allow me to suggest a few of gifts I'll be ever so happy to receive this holiday season:

You know I'm a knitter, Jewish Santa, and as such I have needs. This book and this one too have some really nice knitting patterns and I really think (ok, hope) I could make them and add some awesome sweaters to my tiny wardrobe. (Seriously, these books actually have more than one pattern I'd like to make. I'd make about 90% of them, in both books. Wow)
Update: just found both books at purl for the cheapest US and shipping price (and the weekend book was on sale too!) Thank you Jewish Santa!!

Jewish Santa, I'm really getting into embroidery lately. And I love these three patterns very much. Aren't they absolutely cute? I have a very bad need not embroider them all over the new wardrobe I'm sawing and knitting these days.
Update: just got those for cheap on ebay. Hooray!!

I'm not asking, because I'm very polite, but nice sock yarn will be fun to get too. I didn't buy any in ages.

Oh, and let's not forget Suki, she's been a good cat too (and since her mama is Jewish, she qualifies as such too), I think she deserves this cute collar. Don't you?
Update: just bought her a cute one with fishies and put her name tag on. She looks like a domesticated little rascal now... So cute...

Thank you, dear Jewish Santa, in advance. I really appreciate your gifty kindness. I promise to be a good girl this coming Jewish year too.
Yours truely,

Please note: I wish to clarify in advance, that this entry did not mean in any way to offend anyone of any religion. It was meant as an innocent joke and written in a friendly spirit. Any nasty, agressive or offensive comments will be deleted and their writers blocked.


New things

It was pretty today, so I decided to take some new things on a photoshoot outside, on our sort of porch. Please welcome the new stars of the modeling world:

Red brocade Chinese mary janes, bought this friday in Chinatown in LA. Love them, they're super comfy and uber cheap *. Presented here with a pot of parsley and an eggling (petunia).

Black cotton Chinese mary janes, bought on the same trip. I need 10 more pairs of those, I swear... Shown here with my overgrown (and blooming) basil.

The newly began Mata Hari in a Lana Grossa colorway that reminds me of fruity Mentos. Love it. I didn't finish my Pomatami yet, but I need something simple to knit when I get frustrated with either them or the up and coming disaster. Modeling their pretty asses off with my peppermint.

* Seriously, if you like these shoes, go to your local Chinatown. If you don't have one, don't get them from Amazon or Natasha's Cafe! Get them on ebay. if they cost more than $8 - you've been had.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

At last

I finally got the receipt.

Anyone got a spare frame? It was a mighty expansive piece of paper...


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Could I be knitophobic?

Since I still can't talk about the majority of what's going on in my life, let's talk about knitting. Or more like it - about not knitting.
Oh, worry not - the pomatamai are doing well, although I do suspect that I'll have to do something to close my aggressive YOs. I must be doing something wrong, but I can't quite pinpoint it. They're actually longer than in this photo - I got all the way to the heel now. This pattern is amazing. Ant's socks have been finished and bound off twice (the first time was way tight) last week. He's already been worn against wearing just half the pair with another sock, which is almost his standard. He doesn't mind his food touching either. Strange fellow...
This is all fun and games, but my next couple of projects get me a little worried.
What are my next projects? Wendy's Somewhat Cowl and the crocheted Hemp Flowers Necklace from Interwaeve Crochet 2005 (side note: yep, Anthropologie is using this pattern for their own crocheted necklace, yep it does cost $198, and yep - it seems like Kpixie ran out of the necklace kits for $12, which I was darn lucky to get my greedy hands on). The necklace I am less worried about - I'll practice its elements on some cheapo cotton I have in the stash. ...It's the cowl that gets my knees all shakin'.
Why? I don't know. I've been sweater-o-phobic for quite a while. I've had the yarn for this sweater and the pattern for months, and I love them both - but whenever I even think about combining them I freak out. It looks like a simple enough pattern, and the yarn (Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino) is to die for. I still get an instant fever at the sheer thought of knitting it.
I think my sudden illness has to do with the fact that I'm self educated, knit-wise. Hey, I'm not complaining, about 99% of what I know I taught myself. But sometimes I feel like it just doesn't cut it. Like I'm missing something grand, knowledge-wise that will show up as soon as I knit (or sew, fr that matter, but don't even get me started on that) something people might actually see me wear. I knit very tight, right handed, and I keep twisting the yarn for some reason, which makes for very painful knitting, having to untwist the yarn every other round or so. And I knit slower than a sleeping turtle, which doesn't help. In short - it feels like I might have jumped too far too quickly, and maybe I should just keep knitting garter stitch items to wear at home for the rest of my life.
I probably need to just say "F that! It's just a sweater, dammit!" and stop treating the mere concept of knitting one like it's holly or something. It's hard enough shutting myself up with the regular "What if it doesn't fit? What if it only looks nice in the picture/on the model/in this yarn?" chatter. I'm so awefully picky with clothes as it is, and would hate to finish a piece just to let it become moth food. Please, somebody tell me that it's just a beginning knitter phase and it'll get better!... I couldn't be the only one going through that?... Right?...
I'm going to make myself knit it, not because I feel like I need to prove myself, I mean - hey: I'm mighty happy knitting only socks. But I feel like I need to give it a shot. There are so many amazing sweater patterns out there it'll be a shame not to even try. If it'll come out ugly - I can always rip it apart and give the yarn to Suki, right?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

All for my child

You love Suki, don't you? It's hard not to, this cute, fluffy little darling with the dreamy gaze and pink paws. Well, our dear baby is quickly becoming a teen, with all the anxieties that entails: low self esteem, constant worries about what the other cats think about her, defying her parents - you know.
To ease her growing pains, we have decided to enter her in this month's Pet Meds contest, to prove to her that many many people think she's cute. We're trying to make her feel better about herself.
Would you please help?

Thank you,
Suki's parents

(p.s. I've just updated her photos here, for more goodies from your favorite diva)


Sunday, September 03, 2006

I know...

I'm aweful, I know... I've been really busy, some stuff I can't talk about without breaking a non-disclosure agreement, some I don't really feel like sharing, but the general tone is positive. I've got some work in my pocket I'm very excited about - and I'm even still knitting and sawing.
Give me a few days to wrap things up, and then I'm all yours.